American Girl Does an About-Face: League Protest Succeeds

Clare at NY Picket

Clare Scheidler protests at American Girl Place on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, Dec. 10 [Photo by Eric Scheidler]

Last October the Pro-Life Action League launched a protest of the American Girl doll company’s affiliation with the funding of pro-abortion Girls Inc., as reported in the Fall 2005 issue of Action News. Although American Girl never responded directly to our many calls and emails, they terminated the Girls Inc. project on December 26, noting on their website that they raised $190,000 for Girls Inc.

American Girl Tries To Restore Tarnished Image

Coincident with the termination of the “I Can” bracelet project which directed funds to Girls Inc., American Girl launched its first-ever advertising campaign, targeting customers in Washington State and Georgia, where they are considering opening American Girl Place stores.

They also issued a press release announcing their “Save Girlhood” campaign. American Girl claims to be concerned that girls are being forced to grow up too soon. In response, American Girl proposes to help girls celebrate girlhood, with all the traditional symbols of being a girl—dolls, dress-up and lemonade stands.

The “Save Girlhood” campaign is the complete opposite of the Girls Inc. emphasis on activities that have been traditionally male dominated, such as math, science and athletics. American Girl will probably never admit that pro-life reaction to its link to Girls Inc. had anything to do with the newfound focus on saving girlhood. But we have no doubt that this initiative is a direct effort to restore the tarnished image of American Girl—and that companies like American Girl that rely for their success on a wholesome image will think twice before supporting the likes of Girls Inc. in the future.

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